owner: Larry Hanes // location: Carmel, Indiana // eggshellbistro.com
Even if you don’t know much about Swiss design principles, it’s not hard to recognize that there’s something special going on at Eggshell Bistro in Carmel, Indiana.
That’s because chef and owner Larry Hanes had a successful career in art and design before entering the culinary world. “I see an immense correlation between the essence of Swiss design and the culinary arts,” Hanes says. “Both foundational trainings should involve rhythm, repetition, balance, contrast, color, as well as symmetrical and asymmetrical composition.”
So how does this play out in the food? Imagine a borderless menu that draws inspiration from cuisines across the world. If Hanes can make an element of the dish on-site, he will. For example, Eggshell’s labneh-za’atar dish features pickled fig chutney, labneh cheese, and za’atar spice blend served alongside a sourdough crumpet—all of which are made in house.
By making ingredients in house, Hanes often discovers new, unrelated things he can use in later dishes. He even has a motto to sum up the idea: “I will always relish the idea of creating a custom relish,” he says.